“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened…” Matthew 11:28
This year’s Catechetical Sunday reminds us of the invitation we receive from the Lord Jesus to follow Him and the promise that He doesn’t want to add to our burdens; he wants to lighten them.
Most of us have heard the expression, if you cannot find 10 minutes to pray each day, make an hour to pray. Our lives have become so busy we may forget about centering our lives with Christ, pushing Him to the back of our day and hopefully getting into some conversation with him before we drift off to sleep to do it all over again the next day. The rhythm of our lives may be off, yet it is with this simple act of creating a daily pray habit that we can have our loads lightened by Christ.
Our habits start at home with all of our other learning. We learn to eat, communicate, experience love and play all within the experiences from our parents. We learn to pray, honor God, know his name, his stories from creation to his birth and beyond all from our parents as well. Thus our parents are our first catechists. From there we grow from attending church and mass, to one day going to our religious education programs, all while continuing to be exposed to our faith journey by those around us.
This is when children are exposed to those whose focus is to teach them even more about God. These are our catechists. From them we learn more about God’s creation to how God wants to lighten our loads as we walk with him. With these disciples of Christ, we begin to learn all the teachings of the church. We value each and every one of them who are taking up this vocation to serve our children and youth in our programs. Please join me in thanking Ignatius Bezzam, Joyalle Bhatia, Moira Delumpa, Julie Gunter, Danny La, Colleen O’Kane, Kelley O’Keefe, Jennifer Paulson, Carin Powers, Carolyn Schmittzeh, Stephen Terlizzi, Christy Vaughn, and Anna Wichansky for walking with our children and youth this year.
These two steps of catechesis, at home and in faith formation, are critical for us as disciples of Christ to pass on our faith, our traditions and our love of Christ. We are all children of God with the innate desire for a relationship with Him. We can only be fully whole with Christ and that path to being filled is through our daily union with Christ in friendship. Like all relationships this takes work. It takes getting to know Him more and spending more time with Him. Just as our OCIA children so clearly share about why they know their friends so well, we too must keep close to Christ as our friend, ask to find out more about Him, listen when He talks to us, take time to know Him and talk with Him. Lighten your load!
Our children have the opportunity to be in these catechists lead and supported programs. Know we offer many ways for adults to not only learn more about Christ with our bible study groups, our Thursday night Adult Faith Formation program, but to walk with him in the Eucharistic Revival Small Groups (starting this week!) and to serve with him with many of our outreach ministries. We welcome all to come and know Christ, be filled with Him and overflow with His love!
—-Reflection by Catherine Campbell